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The Headliner Newsletter: January - September 2019 Issue 17

Strong Rooibos supply is back after serious drought

“From the Cederberg to the world, in 2019 Khoisan Gourmet will sell enough Rooibos for 1.1 billion cups of tea!”       

CEO Khoisan Gourmet, Tobias Gress

With an increase of approximately 25% Rooibos output on existing plants this year and better recent rains, Rooibos supply has bounced back after the Western Cape drought scare last year. “The Rooibos industry is coming from several years of drought-induced shortage which saw 2018 with lowest Rooibos stock levels in years, to equity and high stock levels again this year. We are estimating that the industry on the whole has bounced back to some 20 000 tons Rooibos this year. This is creating a surplus of supply globally. Clients are already seeing most competitive pricing as farm gate price of Rooibos has decreased from last year.  It looks like 2019 will remain a buyers’ market with demand most likely to reach some 16 500 tons,” says Gress.

This bodes well for newcomers to the Rooibos trade. It is an excellent time to enter the market and establish a brand. Khoisan can easily supply large contract packaging projects over long term as well as private label options. We offer full service from bulk (loose tea) to teabag to retail package ...delivered to major ports anywhere in the world. 

Photo: Maristha Slabbert, Procurement Manager Khoisan Tea Farm in Clanwilliam. 

Khoisan upgrades & plans successfully for 2020 & 2021 harvests

Improvements at Khoisan Tea factory in Clanwilliam are ongoing this year. While we implemented new risk assessment methods on our Rooibos fields to ensure minimal pesticide usage on conventional Rooibos, we are upgrading our facilities to improve and speed up our grading processes. We’ve boosted our sterilisation processes to better meet client micro results requests and we are busy building a new plant. We aim to greatly increase our annual yield over the next three years. We’ll be ready with our upgrading processing facility and machinery for 2020 harvest and we are now planting for 2021 harvests successfully.

 Photo: 2019 Rooibos seedlings. Your Rooibos in 2021 and 2022.  

Feeling ‘at home’ with the Libstar Group

Khoisan Gourmet – a division of Libstar Holdings Pty Ltd is our official name now.

Khoisan Gourmet for short.

What does this mean for our clients? It means we are now a Rooibos and Bourbon Vanilla supplier proudly featured among Libstar’s total offering of 9000 products available to 57 different countries around the world. We are joining forces with other South African perishable manufacturers like Denny Mushroom, Lancewood, Rialto, Chamonix and Cape Herb & Spice and more. All of our retail clients globally could expand their product ranges via a one-stop solution -  the Libstar family.


Traditional Knowledge levy on Rooibos to honour South African communities

Rooibos has a wonderful and long-running history which goes back several hundreds of years. It can be traced back to when the first indigenous people of the region, predominantly the San and Khoi communities, were considered to be among the first people to make use of this herbal plant in the Western Cape.

Fast forward to present day ….and Rooibos is almost a household name as nearly 40 countries in the world today enjoy it as a naturally caffeine-free ‘tea.’ In honour of this history and as South Africa is a signatory country of the Nagoya Protocol, which requires all signatory countries to develop legislation to enforce and regulate benefit-sharing programmes associated with Traditional Knowledge (TK) of plants which could be commercially used, the Rooibos industry is engaging in a benefit-sharing scheme with the San and Khoi communities. A new TK levy to be issued at the Rooibos processor level will be used to fund a trust set up by the San and Khoi communities to address improvements in their education, health, group recognition and administrative matters. The South African Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is currently reviewing the final phases of this agreement for implementation soon. Planning is that Rooibos processors who have signed the agreement and whose levy payments are up to date will be issued with a valid permit to ensure the programme runs effectively. Khoisan Gourmet supports this initiative, overseen by the South African Rooibos Council.

Fair for Life & UTZ Rooibos available

We received our Fair for Life certification in March 2019. This affirms our commitment to building respectful relationships and ensuring fair working conditions, while respecting the environment, within and along our entire Rooibos supply-chains. Ask us about our organic and non-organic loose tea (bulk) Fair for Life Rooibos.

We also continue to supply UTZ certified conventional Rooibos in loose tea (bulk) and tagless teabags for retail brands. 

UTZ products are traceable from grower to end-product manufacturers. The foundation operates a web-based track-and-trace system, showing the buyers of UTZ certified products the links to certified resources, in our case delicious Rooibos. UTZ also oversees responsible working conditions and fair labour practises with premium funding benefiting farm laborers. Ask us about our UTZ Rooibos. 

Photo: Svenia Ratheiser, Rooibos enthusiast, tries various Rooibos options at a leading hotel in Cape Town recently. 

KeNako Natural Rooibos range is supermarket ready

100% Natural. 100% attractive with merchandising stands.

100% tasty. 100% refreshing. 100% your choice.

•    Rooibos

•   Green (unfermented) Rooibos

•    Rooibos Vanilla 

•    Rooibos Berry Delight

•    Rooibos Lemon Mint

Order our KeNako Rooibos before 15 November 2019 and we’ll supply the merchandising stands for free. While supplies last. MOQs apply.

Photo: Sales Administrator, Melissa Choffinal, proudly displays our KeNako stand. It can be filled by clients as they wish. Only Red. Only Green or a mix of all KeNako Rooibos options. Based on MOQs, we can add new natural flavours as well.    

Khoisan donates to Grootkloof Primary School in Clanwilliam

Khoisan Gourmet recently donated much-needed school equipment to the Grootkloof Primary School in Algeria Clanwilliam in the Western Cape, South Africa. The school has 32 learners with most of their parents working on nearby Rooibos farms. After the school principal conducted a thorough needs analysis, Khoisan supplied laptops, a whiteboard & projector, laminator, a TV for education programmes, bookshelves, and sports materials such as rugby and soccer balls for the children. In early June this year, Khoisan Operations Manager Melanie Nieuwoudt and her Khoisan team handed over the items to the excited and happy learners, teachers and principal Kobie Hannekom. “The kids just couldn’t stop smiling,” she said. 

Grootkloof Primary School was started by the Grootkloof Sustersbond in the early 1950s. It generated its own funds from church events such as bazaars and events;  first learners sat in class under the region’s old sugarbush trees until the school’s initial building was finished in the late 1950s and rebuilt again in the 1970s. It’s quite an interesting story and we wish the school continued success and continued growth.

Photo:  School principal, Kobie Hannekom and Khoisan Operations Manager, Melanie Nieuwoudt spend a day with the learners.

Learnership programme hones staff’s management skills

In support of training and advancing staff education, Khoisan Gourmet provided an NQF Level 4 Qualification in Generic Management for 15 of our staff members from August 2018 to June 2019. Our keen learners received classroom training via a local training institute Simskhula over several days a month during this time.  Our team successfully completed assignments and presentations in business finance, business strategy and design, customer service, quality/risk matters and stock control. 

 Khoisan HR Manager, Sabine Pienaar, who oversaw the programme said, “It is absolutely amazing to witness our staff’s enthusiastic input and progress over the last 12 months and how much they have grown in their business knowledge. We are very proud of the great achievement of our staff members.”

Photo: (left to right) Khoisan's Warehouse Manager, Janine Adams, her team, with  Stockcontroller Sylvester Chiwariro next to HR Manager, Sabine Pienaar at the Khoisan head office upon completion of the programme.  

Khoisan products introduced in Czech Republic

Petr Simon recently introduced Khoisan Organic Rooibos ranges to his home country, the Czech Republic. With a vuvuzela in action and good weather intact, Petr’s team displayed hot and iced Rooibos options at the African Market by Virunga in the beautiful city of Opava this summer.  “Khoisan's products are top of the range,” he said. 

From smaller informal markets to larger stockists and supermarkets, Khoisan supports entrepreneurs with vision and growth prospects.

Classic health benefits of Rooibos

When you next enjoy your cup of tasty Rooibos, remember it is also very good for you.


FOR ADULTS (from 6 cups a day, straight Rooibos hot or cold)

• Helps promote good sleep

• Improves stress levels

• Boosts digestion, soothes stomach

• Offer anti-oxidants naturally

• Helps balance type-2 Diabetes (sugar levels)

• Helps cure headaches & hydrate

• Helps lower blood pressure

• Prevents premature aging

FOR CHILDREN (from 6 cups a day, or make ice lollies from Rooibos)

• Eases stomach cramps

• Soothes colic babies

• Hydrates easily and deliciously

Photo: Courtesy